I don’t believe it! Victor Meldrew would be beside himself. I am talking about the analogous reference to Hurricane Katrina in an article concerning the recent floods in South Yorkshire. This is the third time this week I heard or seen comparisons being made with Katrina: a classic example of our contemporary inability to cope with the slightest aberration to our dreary weather patterns.
How many people have perished as a result of the Yorkshire floods? Five? Six? How many houses have been damaged? OK, it may run into several hundred properties but by no stretch of the imagination should the damage be compared to what struck the United States two years ago. 1,800 people lost their lives; 80% of the city of New Orleans was under water and devastation was wreaked over a 100-mile radius from the eye of the storm. I am considerably less than 100 miles from either Sheffield or Hull and none of the houses near me have roofs protruding from stagnant reservoirs of polluted water.
I have raged against the propensity of the British people to take a comparatively minor meteorological freak and turn it into a banner headline of cataclysmic connotations. It’s about time we had some perspective on our weather in this country.